If you are anything like me, you will grow increasingly restless across the day and need to be able to switch things up when you have no choice but to stare at a computer screen for the majority of your day. If I am at work, I often get up to stretch my legs, go make a coffee or wander to the loos and take a minute to myself to re-charge and re-align my thoughts. If you are lucky enough to have a laptop or MacBook that’s decent enough to travel with (yes shock horror, there will be people reading this without a £1500 MacBook to fling around), you no longer need to be limited to the same old four walls of your bedroom or office.
Coffee shops have become the new place for creatives to congregate; Macbook after Tablet after Laptop, we line the coffee shops of every city we feel at home in. In my city, Manchester, you would be hard pressed to walk into ANY coffee shop without finding at least 2 millennials furiously tapping away and conquering the world with a latte in hand. I too enjoy a few hours of work out of the apartment. With new surroundings, new sights, new smells, new just about everything. I think this has a really positive impact when you are struggling with something in particular; whether it’s how to start your 5000 word essay, how to organize the hellish spreadsheet your boss just tasked you with or how to design your new website banner!
I was recently invited down to Department of Coffee and Social Affairs for their Manchester launch. “Of course you are going to a bloody Coffee Shop opening Michaela!” said my friend, and yes, she is right. I’m guilty of spending an unholy amount of my salary on coffee. Part of me is sorry, the larger part… not so much. It’s one of those things I am happy to spend a little more on if this good. Some may say I have become something of a coffee snob; cheap instant just doesn’t do it for me any more guys! The only reason I used to hate coffee was because I had only ever tried the cheap crap which tastes like petrol!
But when it comes to coffee, how much are you really willing to spend? It’s unfair of me to put this down purely to coffee; Department of Coffee and Social Affairs are also offering a co-working space. Third to what’s on offer is good quality coffee, a beautifully styled environment, power sockets blumming everywhere (even hanging from the ceiling..), meeting rooms and a service button on each table so you can call over a member of the team when you want a top up. We will discuss the debatably needless and pompous nature of that later. But the question is, would you gladly spend £1820 a year to be a member?
It has to be said, a space like that would be glorious to work in and being a members-only club, this means you will be surrounded by like-minded individuals every day. I think it’s safe to say, any young person working from home with little cash in the bank wouldn’t entertain the idea for a second but for young professionals, entrepreneurs or small startups, I think this space might be of use to you if are trying to find office space or pitching a new business idea to investors for example. The members-only aspect and buzzer did make me shiver a little, I won’t lie. Whilst the intention is to create an environment in which people feel like they are special, being provided a top service and are surrounded by trusted and similar members of society, I do question how many people in Manchester this will go down well with.
It’s is worth mentioning too that the company does a lot for charity, like LOT, that’s essentially where ‘social’ comes from in the mouthful of a title; this work is good, I really respect them for their good work and wish them all the luck in the world towards making the world a better place. But, where I am concerned, no company should get brownie points not use this as a selling point, it should be a given. After giving their Social Impact Report a read, they agree with me on this.
I met another blogger, Harley, at the event who had previously been into their one of the cafes in London. Whilst we were choking on our perfectly executed espresso martini’s at the membership price (we couldn’t have been more of a northern stereotype if we tried) she told me there was no need to prove any kind of membership before enjoying a coffee in their London shop, so I do wonder whether this is just a bit of front to position themselves in the marketplace. If so, fair does.
Will I be paying £££££ to be a member? I’m afraid not. Will I swing by if I’m in the area, absolutely! I would also gladly tell the world how yummy their coffee is! I highly recommend you swing by on New York Street in Manchester if you are local. If we were to forget for a second that I’m a 24 y/o gal, with no business, no intention of hiring a team or intention on spending my money on being part of a members-only club; if instead I genuinely were the kind of person who earns their money to be able to spend it on luxuries like this, then I would probably spend a little less on their monthly rolling contract to see what return I can genuinely get from using the space.